There are two key factors to any successful restoration project. The first factor is to plan the work to be executed and the second is having the personnel in place to ensure the project is executed to the proper standards. Many clients are excited to proceed with the work and in the process fail to properly plan the work and/or manage the process. The end result is often a project that falls short of the intended goals.
In terms of project planning and management, clients need to ask some basic questions: What is the targeted time period for the restoration – is the structure being restored to its appearance when first constructed or is a later era more appropriate? What specialized materials should be sourced so they arrive in time and do not delay the project?; What existing architectural elements should be retained as part of the project? Do architectural or engineering drawings need to be prepared? Are building permits required?; What tradesmen are needed and how should they be coordinated? These are just a few of the questions that should be considered before a project begins.
A condition assessment is a report that details the various repairs a structure needs. The condition assessment also prioritizes the needed repairs so the client will have a better understanding of the order in which the work should be performed.
A restoration report will determine the construction date of a structure, which architectural elements are original and which elements date to later eras, as well as what additions or alterations have been made to the structure. Finally a restoration report will determine what time period the building should be restored. There are many elements that can be included a report such as this. As part of these reports, The Acanthus Group has performed architectural investigation, historical research, paint analysis, collecting historical photographs, and oral history interviews. In short, a restoration plan essentially provides a blueprint for the work to be undertaken.
Some projects are straight forward enough that they do not require any architectural or engineering drawings. Other projects, however, can be quite complicated and benefit immensely from the involvement of architects and structural engineers. The Acanthus Group has a team of architects and engineers that are consulted with as the need arises.
Good planning is crucial, but proper management is just as instrumental in a project’s success. Issues such as securing necessary permits, soliciting bids for the various scopes of work, selecting contractors for each individual trade, and insuring that contractors have proper documentation such as liability insurance and workers’ compensation are just some of the issues that need to be addressed before work begins. Once work begins, the project manager is then responsible for coordinating the various trades, inspecting the work to make sure that it is being properly executed and complies with the agreed upon scope, and approving any change orders.
At the end of the day, clients are very satisfied in having a project manager to guide the work. A project manager is well versed in the construction process and his schedule allows him to be on site when often the client cannot. Lastly, there is peace of mind for the client knowing that someone is in place representing and looking out for his or her best interests.